The home bartender is more prevalent than ever. At the point of writing this, I haven’t stepped in to a bar in almost 9 months, and I am a professional cocktail bartender. Over those 9 months, I have come to realize just how difficult it is to amass everything you need to run a top-notch home bar. I took for granted all the amazing tools and gadgets that I had at my disposal behind the bar night in, night out.
Luckily for you, I have been thinking about what I need at home to make the best cocktails possible. This is a list detailing my top 7 items that you should get your favorite home bartender for the holidays!
1. Essential Cocktail Set from Cocktail Kingdom ($149.99)
If your favorite home bartender is a seasoned drink maker, they probably don’t need this set, but if they are just starting to dip your toes into the cocktail making waters, then this set will be the perfect gift.
This set has a measuring tool, a shaker, a glass for stirring drinks, and a shaker. Everything someone needs to start making high quality cocktails at home. The best part is, all of the items are of the highest quality because Cocktail Kingdom is the industry standard.
These are tools you’ll see most every cocktail bartender uses behind there bars. Do your friend or loved one a solid, and get them started with these killer essentials set from Cocktail Kingdom.
2. Wintersmiths Crystal-Clear Ice Ball Maker ($120)
One of the things I first started doing after being quarantined was start to make my own blocks of crystal-clear ice. Clear ice is an absolute must for anyone drinking really nice cocktails or spirits.
Regular ice has air, dust, minerals, and food particles trapped in it, making it cloudy, and making the ice taste like the inside of your freezer. Thankfully, clear ice cubes don’t take on any of the flavor from your freezer and you’re left with a wonderfully pure block of ice.
There are many, very difficult and time-consuming ways to make clear ice, so thankfully Wintersmith has this wonderful product that takes out all the guess work. With their ice chest, you will get 4 perfectly shaped clear ice spheres or cubes every single time. They will not only take your drink to the next level, but they will impress anyone who is on the receiving end of their wonderful drink.
3. Smoking Box with Handheld Smoker (currently on sale for $215.51)
Let’s say your home bartender friend or loved one has already invested some time in to making cocktails and they are ready to step up to the next level. Smoking cocktails is that next step. This beautiful machine is an absolute show stopper and wild impart that incredible, woody, smokey flavor to one’s cocktails. Its sturdy, durable, and easy to use.
Did I mention it’s an absolutely gorgeous center piece? It will be the topic of conversation, guaranteed. Smoke connects with us on an intimate, primal level. Once you start all eyes will fixate on it until its done. The best part is, it’s just as functional as it is stunning. It really is a must have for any home bartender.
Whether the home bartender you are shopping for is a novice or a veteran, Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails by Shannon Mustifer is an absolute must. It is one of the best produced cocktail books I have ever read, and it’s jam packed with amazing information about the history of tropical cocktails, the spirits used, as well as recipes you can try at home.
Shannon Mustifer is one of the most respected names in the cocktail game, and you cannot go wrong getting this book for anyone who has the home bartender itch. This book will be the gift that keeps on giving has your favorite home bartender churns through the pages trying drink after drink!
5. Magic Mill Commercial Food Dehydrator Machine ($169.99)
The name of the game when you’re bartending at home, is not having to buy a million different types of produce only for half of it to go to waste because you didn’t get to it quick enough. Well that problem is solved by getting a dehydrator.
A dehydrator is probably the best way to repurpose used cocktail by products, or salvage produce that is about to go bad. If you only used half a lime for your drink, slice up the other half and throw it in the dehydrator and you have yourself an amazing looking garnish that is shelf stable.
If you have bananas that are about to turn, slice them up and put them in the dehydrator and you have incredible banana chips. It really is a fun, creative way to save money and to be sustainable at the same time!
6. iSi Cream Whip Professional Cream Whipper ($98.52)
File this gadget under advanced techniques, so if you are shopping for a home bartender that is just starting out, this might not be for them. If your home bartender has some experience under their belt, this gift will keep them busy for the next year! This is an iSi cream whipper compressed air canister.
The reason this is great for home bartenders is that the iSi can rapidly infuse spirits with just about anything you want! Place a spirit, say vodka, into the iSi. Dice up some pineapples and toss them in as well. Charge the tank twice, release the air, open the top, and boom! You have pineapple infused vodka!
That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to iSis. You can make fun and exciting creams; you can make inventive sodas. It really is a gift that will keep your friend or loved one busy for the next year!
7. Bitters Bottle Glass Dash Bottle Set ($61.93)
No good bar is without some sexy bitter’s dashers. Bitters are the salt and pepper of the cocktail world and you need a lot of them. You can never have enough.
They usually come in their own bottles, but if the friend or family member you are shopping for cares about presentation, then they need a set of vintage-looking bitters dashers. The dasher bottles turn a normal home bar into a place with speak easy vibes. All you need is a set of candles and you are ready to make prohibition-era cocktails! An absolute must for any home bartender of any caliber.